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Star Wars STAR WARS: Episode IV - Destiny's End (A Star Wars AU)

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  1. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    "Even though I knew that the Senate was corrupt, the Council was fallible, and Jedi training methods far from perfect, I remained with the Jedi Order for twelve years after Galidraan. Why? Because I still believed that I could accomplish some good as a Jedi. I thought I could bring about some positive changes, right certain wrongs, and do better than maintain the status quo. In short, I was an utter fool."

    - Darth Tyranus


    [image=http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/d/df/Lightdark.jpg]

    The betrayal was swift.

    Darth Tyranus knew enough of his master?s ways to know that this was no partnership, that the old man would not honor their plans and their deals. He was too selfish, too greedy. Sidious? overconfidence was his weakness; there he was, shackled to a chair, unconvinced of his vulnerability. With a few quick strokes of his lightsaber, Darth Tyranus showed the venerable Chancellor the flaw in his planning.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Negotiator, crushed beneath a fallen platform, was killed next. Skywalker, the Hero With No Fear, was too strong and brash to be fought honorably. Sidious was wise to want to train him, but where he may have served the kindly old Chancellor Palpatine, he would not serve Dooku, particularly not after watching the Count kill both his mentors in the space of a few minutes. No, it took a veritable army to destroy Skywalker ? General Grievous called upon every droid he could muster and, combined with Dooku?s command of the Force, the Chosen One finally fell, his spirit entering the Unifying flow kicking and screaming.

    And then it was done.

    Without Palpatine?s machinations to hold back the Confederacy?s full might and construct a Republic?s victory, they fought as they always knew they could. Coruscant fell. The Galaxy buckled. The Republic fled to the Outer Rim and were, to some extent, tolerated. Emperor Dooku ruled.

    And twenty years passed.

    Above the planet Tatooine, the Tantive IV, carrying information vital to the survival of the Republic Remnant, is chased by the Invisible Hand and its foul cyborg commander, Lord Grievous. Luke and Leia Skywalker, scions of the Chosen One and soon to be Jedi Knights themselves, realize that their situation is untenable. They must do something swiftly, or the galaxy will be lost to Emperor Dooku and his droid army forever.

    Factions
    The Empire
    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/Confederacy_of_Independent_Systems.svg/149px-Confederacy_of_Independent_Systems.svg.png]
    At the end of the Liberation War (known to some as the Clone Wars or the War of Republic Oppression) in 16 rS the galaxy was conquered and redivided into the Confederation, a loose, semi-feudal conglomeration of corporate and political bodies all swearing to a single constitution under Count Dooku, who administrated from Coruscant. As had the Sith Lord's plan from the start, however, Dooku was within two years made Emperor of the First Galactic Empire - one of the few ideas Dooku borrowed from his former master. Opposition from long time allies was quelled, and many partner commercial interests in the Clone Wars were nationalized. Compliance, on the other hand, was lavishly rewarded. The Senate and the Throne are both on Coruscant. Human High Culture laws have been relaxed in the intervening years, though Humans and Near Humans continue to receive preference in practice. System governors are not merely politicians, but enjoy a sort of aristocratic grace; in fact, many are bestowed hereditary noble titles. General Grievous remains Supreme Commander of Imperial Forces.

    The Empire prizes loyalty, efficiency, culture and bearing - it is often said to be modeled on the old Count Dooku himself.

    The Imperial Droid Army
    [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100512120046/starwars/images/7/7a/ChristophsisDroidBattalion.jpg]
    While organic troops do occasionally serve alongside official Imperial troops - usually on loan from loyal principalities, such as Nemoidia, S/>
  2. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    OOC: The hurricane led to great productivity...
    Over Tatooine...

    The Tantive IV shuddered as, finally - inevitably - the Invisible Hand's tractor beam took hold of her. There were none aboard who thought, in those final moments, that there could be any other outcome. They would be boarded, and this could very well be the end of the Republic. They would lose the plans. They would lose the Chosen.

    It wasn't that the information the Remnant sought to funnel through the Hutt cartels to the Outer Rim and, potentially, the strange Chiss in the Unknown Regions was life or death to what remained of the Republic, the government that had stood for twenty-five thousand years. The plans for the new starfighter, stored on a data disk held by the Jedi padawan affectionately known to much of the Remnant as "The Princess," would be taken willingly into the hands of the Republic's insurgent contacts on the desert world and taken to those that could produce them en masse - it had been so long, after all, since the Republic Remnant had developed new technology to combat the ever advancing Empire that this new, experimental, state of the art fighter could potentially tip the balance of power in the Remnant's favor. The Incom factories that were set to produce the thing were so damaged in the fighting over the plans that it might be years before they were back to operations, and with their systems destroyed and the plans in Remnant hands...well the Empire had better start looking for a new design. What set these fighters apart? They were intended for organic pilots - in fact, their development had been coaxed along by the Sith Knights. The Empire, even back when it was referred to as the Confederacy of Independent Systems, had won again and again by overwhelming force. Skill, intuition...that was the realm of the living, and living - much to the chagrin of the Sith - was not of the dark side.

    The soldiers were a mixed bag. Alderaanians, Republic troops, a few Antarian rangers. They lined the main corridor of the Tantive IV, guns pointed at the airlock as the mechanisms of the boarding party clicked into place.

    They all pretended not to hear the yelling.

    "With all due respect, sir, you are too important to our entire cause. The ship is scuttled. We'll do what we can. But you and your sister need to get the hell out with the plans." The woman shouting was Folee, yelling sideways over the raised collar of her Ranger's bomber jacket to a much younger man, a padawan that pretended not to hear her while staring down the airlock door with his lightsaber lit. Fearless, her blaster trained down the center of the hallway, she tried to jostle him from his place. She almost succeeded more than once.

    "Your sister is recording a message to the safehouse on the surface as we speak and backing up the starfighter plans on the droid. After that, you two will be the next out. "

    The young man remained speechless. Folee grunted loudly and threw her whole body weight against the young man's side. "Dammit Skywalker, you can be a hero later!"

    And that was when the Empire began cutting through the door.

    TAG: TheSithGirly, DarthXan

    On Tatooine...

    Laze and Cammie never believed him, and so he stood still, staring straight up at the sky with his electrobinoculars, trying not to squint. It was fine by him. He didn't like being their third-wheel. Things would be different if Tank and Biggs were still around, but he saw less and less of them, these days. It was fine. Anakin Lars did the best with what he had. After all, he had no other choice.

    "What are you looking at, Ani?" Laze chuckled.

    "Oh, don't worry about him," Cammie smiled. "He's always got his head in the clouds. Less stars, Ani! More sand."

    But he didn't look away. Up above, there was a space battle.

    TAG: Ramza/>
  3. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Anakin Lars
    On Tatooine


    Finally.

    Getting a good zoom setting on electrobinoculars was a perennial hassle, but the details and information you got once you found that setting were typically worth the annoyance. As Anakin had hoped, this was one of those times. Laze was laughing about something, as he was wont to do. Knowing his usual talking points, Anakin deduced that it was something to the effect of "I'm Laze. I'm such a good mechanic I got a job at Tosche Station! Have I mentioned I'm Laze lately? Because I'm Laze. You know sandsurfing? That was all me, Laze. Why? Because I'm Laze. LAZE."

    "That one's... 150 metres... and judging by the shape, gotta be a corvette. I've seen too many CR90s for it to be anything but that. And that big one shooting at it can only be a Providence-class at that length... over a kilometer. Ah! Got the CR90 in its tractor beam. 'Sall over for those guys. Even if that thing's packed wall to wall with Remnant forces, there are just going to be way too many droids on a Providence for them to handle..."

    "Less stars, Ani! More sand."

    He felt his right eye twitch. How he loathed that nickname. When his mom used it, he chalked it up to some subconscious urge to keep her little boy ten years old and on the farm forever. When his friends used it, it was because they knew it got his goat. Naturally, Laze and Cammie used it exclusively. Where the hell was Biggs when you needed him? Biggs at least used his middle name - Cliegg - which was apparently some kind of hilarious one-man inside joke because, according to Biggs, Anakin was exactly the type of guy to free his slave and marry her.

    Yeah, Biggs had a strange sense of humor.

    "Ease off," he returned, keeping his eyes focused on the skies above. "You know as well as I do that Dad grounded me from flying the skyhopper. And might I remind you!" He pointed his left index finger at the general position he remembered them being in. "The only reason I'm grounded in the first place is because somebody's boyfriend told me that 'going to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters' was a perfect cover story for trying to get my T-16 into orbit. I mean it's not like Dad knows your boss or anything, Fixer. That'll totally check the hell out and he definitely won't check my altimeter history. Let me at least live vicariously through a bunch of doomed Remnant soldiers, will ya? Stupid harvest season."

    TAG: Matt
  4. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Dantooine...

    Master Yoda's eyes snapped open, and his ears went rigid.

    The ancient council chamber was silent aside from the old Jedi Master's quickened breath, which in itself was odd. He stared out the shuttered curtain at the dimming light behind the biba trees, as if by squinting he could see into space, see the ship that held the Skywalker children. As if they could see him.

    He turned in the dim light to see Master Windu, wizened by the years. The man had already moved from where he had sat meditating, which meant he'd sensed it before Yoda. Not entirely curious. Yoda could only guess at the Korun master's mental state - he'd lost so much and, deep down, blamed himself for the Chancellor's abduction and death. The Master let himself down from his cushion and padded over towards Master Windu, his cane clicking along on the floor, echoing throughout the chamber. He reached out his hand in comfort - and that's when their comms chimed.

    TAG: spycoder9

    Falleen...

    Urai Fen sounded almost apologetic speaking to his lord. Pairs of reptilian eyes burned holes in his feathers - his natural Talortai Force talent allowed him to pick out their trajectories. Not all the vigos were present, but there could be no mistake that this was Black Sun, not official Imperial, business. So far he'd been speaking in implications - the Prince, had demanded forthrightness, not because he was not intelligent, but because he wanted all his agents to respect him. Fen recognized this, swallowed, and allowed himself a moment to reframe his thoughts before speaking.

    "The ship carries the designs stolen from the Empire when the Incom engineers defected and the Remnant destroyed their factories. It's very sensitive information and His Imperial Majesty is clearly hell-bent on getting them back before the Remnant can produce the fighters." He paused. Xizor's face was impassive. He continued. "The Invisible Hand is strong, and stars know you don't want to pick a fight with the General (particularly not with his new body), but the Remnant is tough, and we're getting rumors from our sources on Remnant worlds that the Skywalkers might be on this mission. What I'm saying, Milord, is that we can't be absolutely sure that those plans won't slip through Grievous' fingers. The worst case scenario is that they're lost to us - to space, or to the Remnant. The best case here, unfortunately, appears to be that the plans make landfall on Tatooine - a Hutt controlled world." He shifts. "It's been a long time since Black Sun's gone to war with the Hutts, but retrieving these plans for Dooku before Grievous or Ventress get to them could be very, very good for you. And, let's be frank, that's not even the only business opportunity possible from getting our hands on this starfighter."

    The Talortai's feathers ruffled in expectation.

    TAG: Winged_Jedi
  5. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Leia Skywalker
    Tantive IV, over Tatooine

    "... plans stored in this droid are vital to the Republic Remnant," the one they called the Princess was saying rapidly into the droid's holocam pickup. "I regret that we were unable to deliver them in person but our ship has been taken. You must see to it that these plans reach their intended destination. The droid knows where." Leia glanced sideways; the door was glowing. Kriff. She gazed intently into the holocam, trying to convey just how desperate their situation was. "You are our only hope. May the Force be with you."

    She touched the control, and the glow faded.

    "Luke!" she yelled, reaching out in the Force to make sure he heard her. "We have to go!"

    She knew her brother would not be easily convinced to leave. Over the course of their short cruise, the crew aboard the Tantive IV had become his people, and he probably felt like it was his duty to stay and fight with them. Leia herself felt a gut-wrenching pain at leaving them to fight, and likely die, while they escaped. But the plans were too important. Surely Luke would see that...

    TAG: TSG, Matt
  6. TheSithGirly Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    Luke Skywalker
    Tantive IV, Over Tatooine


    His hand tightened around his metal lightsaber hilt. The humming was transmitted into his hand, made his muscles vibrate, as he clenched his fist too tight around the weapon. The airlock looked like a trap to him. Not his trap. It was a trap for everybody else on board. Fighting against the Empire´s droids was a lost battle. They would destroy hundreds, certainly. But there had to be thousands on board the Invisible Hand. And the General was on board. The Emperor´s dreaded killing machine existing for the one purpose to serve his will. He had killed many Jedi. They said he took pride in it. But Luke Skywalker was not just another Jedi.

    He stepped aside to make the ranger´s attempt to push him as useless as possible. "Well, how many people is my importance for the Remnant worth exactly? So many people die for me. I wonder when anybody will ever wonder if they are not too many." He hissed the words almost, but then sighed in resignation. Looking to his sister he knew she would go. Because it was the reasonable thing to, that was why she wanted him to do it. But reason was not everything. Was it right? Yes. For the Remnant. And for the Jedi, of course. But certainly not for the men aboard who could use any hand in this battle, especially one trained by the Orders swordmaster for all those years now. Luke did not want to leave them. Luke did not wanted to lose all of them.

    I wonder what father would have done. Anakin Skywalker had not been known to accept defeat, had he? Then again would he have wanted his son to die the way he had? Overun by endless waves of droids? then again, would he have left his men alone? Even for an important mission?

    Luke knew his father would not guide him through this. nor would his Master. He had to do it alone. He was Luke Skywalker and if he ever wanted to fulfill the expectations people had in him, he would have to make his own decisions.

    "Luke!" His sister yelled at him, reaching out in the Force to make sure he heard her. "We have to go!" Luke turned to her and sighed. The starfighters. They needed those plans and he had been given the mission to make their arrival at the Jedi Temple sure. He knew he had to go. Looking for a last time at the elderly Ranger woman who was so desperate to make her only chance of survival leave he gave her a sad smile. "May the force be with you."

    His lightsaber vanished into the hilt as he ducked and jumped into the escape pod. "Get in." He only replied to his sister to show his acceptance.

    Tag: Xany, BobaMatt

  7. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Mace Windu
    Dantooine



    ~ The calm of the Force. A comforting tornado of thoughts revolved around the still figure of the Jedi Master. He could feel all of things that were happening. A ship under attack. Onboard, a man and a woman, a brother and a sister. Both padawans. He had been involved in some of that training. Most of it, actually. The most of it he saw was that - A flash of trouble. ~

    Opening his eyes, the aged Jedi relaxed himself into the chair. His tensed muscles were sore. Much more sore than they had been ten years ago. They were more tense than they had been last week. Rising from his seat, the master stroked his chin as his thoughts threatened to take him over. Day in and day out he found himself struggling with his inner demons. The creatures that whispered to him about how he was right, how they should have listened to him. Every day he fought the demons. And every day he almost lost. He knew everyone knew about him. Could see the tortured look in his eyes. He especially knew his good friend and fellow master could see the pain and struggle with grasping everything in Mace. It had hurt both of them, those moments when they received word that Anakin Skywalker, the presumed Chosen One, was struck down. Easily. Like a snap of the fingers. Closing his eyes, the Master breathed in and out. His only hope rested on the two children of the Chosen One. A boy and a girl. Luke was a truly exceptional man. Yes, a man. Mace found it hard to believe his Padawan was becoming a man. When Mace looked in Luke?s face, he found the deepest of regrets and the highest of hopes.

    He realized Master Yoda was beside him. Glancing to his side, he was ready to welcome the small green man with the wisest brain.

    ?How was your -?

    Beep. Beep. Beep.

    Mace answered the complink with a simple flick of his hand. He already had suspicions of what was to be said.

    ?Master Windu here. Is there an emergency??


    TAG: Matt
  8. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Over Tatooine...

    Artoo tweedled his confidence and entered the escape pod. Threepio started after him before turning - sadly? - and pausing slightly. "Be careful, Mistress Leia," he said. Turning to follow the astromech, he allowed himself an, "Oh dear..." The door hissed shut. The air lock sealed. The escape pod vented to space.

    Luke came bounding around the corner and, without stopping, leapt into the second pod. He looked to his sister. "Get in."

    There was an explosion in the hallway.

    * * * *

    The airlock door blew in. Folee threw herself against a wall to avoid the impact. Not all of the troopers were spared, and the sounds of bone and flesh crushed by speeding metal was something Folee would never get used to. The gaping hole of the airlock was full of smoke and flame. The men braced themselves, but nothing came.

    Then: arcing up and high, cylinders. Folee shouted, but she wasn't the only one who did. "GAS!" Probably dioxis, the likes of which the Trade Federation had been fond of using. The Remnant forces scrambled for masks and rebreathers. Some collapsed coughing to the ground as their allies dragged them away to clean air. Through the goggles of her mask, Folee saw, through the clouds of yellow gas, shapes on the walls. It wasn't difficult to discern what those were. Fast, skittering, destructive. Buzz droids. The quickest ones tore up panels and entered the guts of the ship. Lights flickered. Systems groaned. Some of the droids fell sparking to the ground. That wasn't likely to be all.

    Black shapes, their rolling sound - metal on metal - deafening, parted the gas clouds. Men leapt from their path. It wasn't until the sound of their rolling ceased that Folee heard herself screaming, "NO! NO! NO!" Within her mask. Then into her comm: "Find cover! Arm ion weapons."

    She threw herself into a door frame just as the droidekas' blasterfire tore through the ship.

    TAG: SithGirly, DarthXan

    Tatooine...

    In the sky, an escape pod with no lifeforms on board caught fire like a shooting star.

    * * * *

    The Sith Knight stared out the window of his palace across the sands of his home. He'd sensed the battle above his head, but this report was still troubling - the General had chased a Remnant ship here. The General - the abhorred droid with a tacticians' brain - had not even had the courtesy to call before visiting.

    The Sith Knight slid his helmet over his face. The design for his ornate armor had come to him in a dream, but in the vision it had been keratinous and terrifying. He had made the Jensaarai construct him such a suit, built to his sepcifications; he killed the armorers that got it wrong. But now it was perfect. Now it was beautiful. And yet...and yet...it did not live and breath as it had in his dream. He embellished - improved - the armor with bone and leather. It was better, yes. Better.

    It would have to do.

    The door behind him slid open, and an Umbaran aide swept into the room. The Sith Knight did not turn to look at her. "Send a message to the General aboard the Invisible Hand," he said. "Tell him that I would very much like to speak with him when he's finished with whatever chore led him to intrude onto my property."

    The aide hesitated. She cleared her throat. "Yes, Lord Krayt." She glided out.

    TAG: Ramza, ALL

    Dantooine...

    Admiral Ackbar's voice came through the comm after a hesitation. "We believe the Tantive IV has come under attack by the Empire over Tatooine."

    Yoda pursed his lips. Of course, they had both known already. Still, the confirmation was not easy to take. "Blame yourself, you must not," he said, "This was their test. Wait, we must. See, we must. There is no choice. It is the Will of the Force."

    He walked to the door, his cane clacking along. Finally, he turned. "But abandon them, we cannot."

    TAG: spycoder9




  9. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Anakin Lars
    On Tatooine


    Silence from the peanut gallery, Anakin noticed. No doubt there systems had been utterly devastated by his harsh rebuke. Fine by him - let him pay more attention to the battle overhead.

    This was not the kind of situation you'd describe as ideal for the Remnant, which was a shame, because as his dad was fond of reminding him, his stepuncle had been in the Remnant. Or something like that. He was some kind of muckity muck, as far as Anakin knew. The elder Lars liked to joke that his son had been named after said uncle, which was of course a preposterous notion, because no one was dumb enough to name their kid after a stepbrother they barely knew, right? Besides, if old Shmi Lars had had a son, back in the day, why would she name him Anakin? Shmi and Anakin? That made no sense at all. At least Cliegg -> Owen -> Anakin had a sort of strange nomenclature logic about it. But Shmi -> Anakin? No way.

    The younger Lars figured it was some kind of cover anyway, probably because the mysterious second elder Lars was too important for a "kid" to know about. It seemed to him his uncle might be that Bail Organa guy from Alderaan. That made a sort of sense. Shmi -> Bail. Yeah, he could see that.

    Sure as hell made more sense than Shmi -> Anakin, in any case.

    ... Wait, was that a-? He lowered his electrobinoculars, checked to make sure they were functioning properly, and looked through them again. "Small object, maybe... four meters...? Moving too fast to be a rock. ... An escape pod?" He lowered the electrobinoculars again. "No way. No one would seriously try to escape from a Providence-class in an escape pod." Again the electrobinoculars were brought to his face. "... Definitely an escape pod. I guess it short circuited? No one can possibly be that suicidal. No one." He lowered the electrobinoculars a third time. "Short-circuited," he nodded in agreement with itself.

    He turned to his companions. "You guys seriously have no idea what you're missing up there."

    TAG: Matt
  10. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Tatooine...

    "Well..." Laze said, "...see..."

    And that was that. There was a long silence. Laze eyed the Weary Traveler, just visible from where he sat, finishing his beer. He should probably go buy more. Any of their parents would kill them if they knew they were sitting around drinking beers. Particularly around so much heavy machinery. He crumpled the can and threw it. Cammie brushed some hair behind her ear.

    Suddenly, Anakin was talking again. "Small object, maybe... four meters...? Moving too fast to be a rock. ... An escape pod?" He lowered the electrobinoculars again. "No way. No one would seriously try to escape from a Providence-class in an escape pod." Laze nodded. Cammie rolled her eyes. "Definitely an escape pod. I guess it short circuited? No one can possibly be that suicidal. No one....Short circuited." He nodded to himself. Cammie giggled.

    Finally he took the binoculars away from his face and looked at them. He was grinning wide. "You guys seriously have no idea what you're missing up there."

    Cammie stood from where she sat and walked over to to the young man, a concerned look on her face. "That's your problem, Ani," she said, resting her hand on his shoulder and locking her eyes onto his. "You're always worried that you're missing something." Her giggle held a sneer. She brushed past him, back towards the landspeeder. "C'mon, Laze, babe. I'm driving." She gestured towards the vast emptiness. "Wouldn't want you to hit anything."

    Cammie thought she was really funny, sometimes.

    TAG: Ramza
  11. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IC: Leia Skywalker
    Tantive IV, Over Tatooine

    Leia didn't have to meet her brother's eyes to know how he felt about leaving those men and women behind. His sadness was reflected in her own heart, although she also felt (selfishly, and hated how selfish it was) relieved that he wasn't going to argue her into staying. In an ordinary situation, she'dve won, but here he would only have had to buy seconds before it was too late to escape. They both knew she would never leave without him.

    She ducked in, hitting the controls with the Force even as she reached for the crash restraints. The hatch hissed shut, barely ahead of the cloud of yellow gas filling the hallway. Moments later, the escape pod rocketed into space.

    Into safety.

    Leia slumped back in her seat and rubbed a hand over her face. They - she - had made the right decision. The plans were too important. She'd made a backup in Artoo's memory banks and told the droid to find their contact and deliver her message (and how about that, practically sacrificing their father's old droids as a decoy? Mother would have a field day), but it was still their primary mission to get them through. The soldiers had known that. Folee herself had told them to go.

    So why did she feel like bantha poodoo?

    She closed her eyes. This close, she could feel every death on the Tantive IV as they fell, either to poison gas or gunfire, like little tears in the fabric of the Force. Every single one felt like her fault.

    TAG: TSG, Matt
  12. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Over Tatooine...

    The smoke and gas cleared slowly, rolling along the deck as the action aboard the Tantive IV died down. The Invisible Hand was not without damage herself - someone had manually ejected all the ships escape pods (a maneuver Grievous was familiar with) damaging the Providence-class' hangar as pods fired like missiles into the capital ship's hull. The Remnant would pay dearly for this. Behind his armed MagnaGuards, the General stalked through the airlock into the sparking, flickering light of the CR90's main corridor. He blinked, going from darkness to the dim, defeated light. Waiting for him, a pair of BX-2s held an elderly, battered woman by her arms. In the distance, blasterfire.

    "So," the General said as he approached, "if it isn't Ranger Folee? Not so tough anymore, eh?" He reached out with an articulated foot and slammed the aging Antarian Ranger against a bulkhead by her neck. Doubled over, he brought his gunmetal visage inches from her bloodied face. The hiss of his respirator caused her hair to make vague movements. He supressed a cough. The BX-2s stepped away. "Where are the plans?"

    "I don't know what you're talking about. This is a consular vessel. We were granted passage for diplomatic - "

    "You think I don't recognize your jacket, Ranger? Your charming hat? Where are the plans?"

    "We are Republic Remnant dignitaries being granted passage aboard the personal ship of an Imperial -"

    He slammed her once more against the bulkhead. "If this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador?"

    The impact had knocked the older woman unconscious. In frustration, the General crushed her neck between his toes and, with a mighty kick, sent her limp body flying down the hallway. With a crunch, it bowled over a group of three obsolete B1 battle droids operating cleanup. Grievous wheeled around to find the nearest T-series droid, who snapped to fearful attention. The General roared: "Tear the ship apart until you've found those plans. And bring me the passengers - I want them alive!"

    He then turned his attention to his commlink, patched into the Invisible Hand. "All Vultures, arget and dismantle the escape pods."

    * * * *

    A small point of light grew larger and larger through the porthole of the twins' escape pod. Before long, it became clear that a bogey was speeding in their direction. It burst, and magnetized metal spheres overtook them; in turn those sphere burst into skittering, skritching legs and sharp, damaging tools.

    TAG: ALL, TheSithGirly, DarthXan

    Dantooine...

    "Fold!" cried one of the two old men at the table, laughing to avoid bemoaning his ill fortune and throwing down his cards. His name was Reeze Duurman, and he threw down a chug of whiskey to ease the sting. Reclining, one could barely see his face through all the cigarra smoke.

    "Wellp," grunted the other old man, Tobb Jodak. "Guess that leaves just me and the fuzzball Rangers, then, eh?" He looked at the only other human still in the sabacc game, a young hotshot Ranger by the name of Han Solo. "That's right, I meant all three of you." Seated beside Solo were two massive, fur-covered others: Poh, a Yuzzem, and Chewbacca, a Wookiee, both of whom snuffled in laughter. "At least I have better chances than the crew on the Tantive IV." He raised his glass.

    The laughter died. Chewie chuffed in disapproval and snuck a glance at his charge: he knew the kid wouldn't react well; though Solo would never admit it, a sensitive enough nose could probably smell the feelings he had for the Skywalker girl. "Oh, what?" Jadak went on. "Suddenly we have no senses of humor?"

    Chewie reshuffled his cards. <<I'd take my chances in a CR90 over your old YT any day.>>

    Jadak chuckled and chewed his cigar. "Old? I've replaced so many parts on that ship over the years only thing old on her's the reputation."

    "Aye aye!" shouted Duurman, "To the Stellar Envoy and all who travel in her!" He tossed back more whiskey.

    Chewie looked a
  13. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Mace Windu
    Dantooine



    ?We believe the Tantive IV has come under attack by the Empire over Tantooine.?

    He listened only absently. Through the Force he could feel his apprentice. The power of Vaapad trainee was raw and powerful, but also a bit frightening. With all of this in mind, he flashed a small signal through the Force. Only a small one, but Luke was a strong boy. He would be able to feel it. Should be. With this new terror, Mace felt like he could trust Luke would come out of it unscathed. But another young man had went into a mission expecting to come out unscathed, and he had suffered from it. Mace wiped his brow from the sweat that had begun to build up.

    ?Blame yourself, you must not. This was their test. Wait, we must. See, we must. There is no choice. It is the Will of the Force.?

    Mace stared at the diminutive figure with the pointed ears. Limping away. Another wounded warrior of a war that should?ve ended much better than it did.

    He turned around to Mace.

    ?But abandon them, we cannot.?

    Mace sat down on his chair and put his face in his hands. So much rested on Luke and Leia?s shoulders.

    ~ Luke. Protect yourself and your sister. Do not let anything happen to the either of you. ~

    He knew Luke hated when he did that, but. . .

    It never hurt.

    The Jedi Master actually found some amusement in that.


    TAG: Matt and TSG
  14. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4

    Xizor

    The Duchy Palace, Falleen

    Urai Fen talked. Every word he spoke- and indeed, some that he did not- were already known to his master. Such briefings were held largely for the benefit of the Vigos. So it was that Xizor spent the majority of Fen's report reflecting upon what he should say to them.

    All life is but a game of dejarik, perhaps? It seemed a suitably trite opening sentiment with which to test the intellectual rigour of his lieutenants.

    Here run the Remnant, he might explain, gesturing to an imaginary holodeck. Wild band of M'onnoks, lashing out with a blindness that renders them both dangerous and unpredictable, if ultimately fallible. Among them, two Grimtaash- the Skywalkers, creatures of power and therefore of value.

    The Hutts lie in wait, akin to vile Ng'ok, foul tempered war beasts of the sand dunes.

    In pursuit, the brutish savrip Grievous. Over him, Kintan strider at the head of the deck, Emperor Dook-

    Bah, what drivel! Life, in Xizor's experience, did not so easily conform to such narrow confines. Faith in such gross over-simplification of myriad complexities was indicative of a lazy, confused or fearful mind. Humans were particularly prone to such thinking. Even as a test, such vapid pseudo-philosophies were an insult to the intelligence of the Vigos.

    Today, then, he would not toy with them.

    "Black Sun will acquire these plans," he said simply. "To what end is a discussion- a decision- for another time. First, acquisition. I wish our hand to be concealed in this matter. We will use bounty hunters, hired through trusted agents. Our agents will conduct all business anonymously, and their identities will not be easily traceable. If a covering trail is necessary, then construct one that leads to the Fromm Family. As for the hunters- only the best. The bounty will be set at half a million credits for the plans, with a quarter of a million for each Skywalker. You are dismissed."

    Fen and the Vigos bowed their heads, and departed the room.

    Xizor sighed, and activated his intercomm, switching to the private channel. He was no fool to place such a fateful opportunity exclusively in the hands of a mob of bounty hunters. They would provide sufficient diversion.

    "Prepare the facility for my arrival," he ordered. "Inform the boy that he is needed for an offworld mission. I will brief him personally."

    Life was not a game of dejarik, reflected Xizor. But it still had its grandmasters.

    Tag: Matt (to get the hunters started)
  15. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Han Solo
    Dantooine

    "Oh, what?" the old man went on, holding his glass in the air . "Suddenly we have no senses of humor?"

    Without a second glance at his cards to determine their value, Han slammed his hand down, rattling the drink glasses and causing the interference field in the center of the table to flicker. But his anger wasn't fueled by the Sabacc game or even the snide comment the old man aimed at Han and his 'business' partners. After all, he could take a good ribbing. No, it was something much worse. He realized - with some regret - that it was the old man's gloating about the Tantive IV and her fate that had gotten under his skin.

    Why? Well, he'd rather not go into those details just yet...it was a crazy notion anyway. The less he thought about it, the better.

    "Quit flapping your gums, old man," Han uttered, his voice surprisingly calm for the intensity evident in his gaze. "If you were half as good as you claim to be, you would have realized your mistake long ago. You just crossed the line, pal..."

    He started to slide his hand down to the familiar bulge of his blaster resting against his thigh, unhooking the strap and slowly pulling the weapon free from its holster...

    ...when big furry oaf number one decided to interject and change the subject before things spiraled too far out of control. Typical Wook, always proving to be the honest one. Then again, his behavior wasn't very becoming of a Ranger, but what did they know? He was holding up his end of the deal and performing all of his duties, that's all they had asked for. Damned if they were gonna tell him how to live his life.

    Gritting his teeth, Han sneered and angled his gaze up at the towering Wook, making it clear to his partner that he wasn't pleased with the outcome. But when did that ever stop him? The dumb oaf just kept on rattling his mouth off, drawing the old man into yet another debate, this time about the intricacies of starship performance.

    Well, at least it was something he could get into. Exhaling deeply, Han settled back into his chair and watched, making sure to keep one hand on his blaster, the other on a glass of whiskey. Things were moving along nicely until something spooked the old man...

    "Whatever happened, I'm sure they know."

    Han craned his neck to look behind him, making sure to keep his blaster concealed beneath the table as he moved. He didn't like surprises and he really didn't like this one. Two figures were approaching the group and despite Han's cool demeanor, he could feel his heart beginning to beat rapidly within his chest, threatening to crack the stone facade.

    Chancellor Amidala - the mother of the Skywalker girl.

    Just great.

    "Well, friend," Han drawled with a hint of a smile as he rose with the others. "Now's your chance to explain to Her Highness how she missed out on the perfect opportunity to hire a scumbag like you to ferry her daughter around. I'm sure she'd get a kick out of that story. Talk is cheap, huh?"

    TAG: Matt, Mitth, Fins, Sarge
  16. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Chancellor Amidala
    Hangar on Dantooine

    "I want you to gather every bit of information we got on the operation. The Jedi cannot be trusted in this, Salvo." She used the word to remind him of his place and mission. She was well aware of his true name, but this was a military operation and she knew she was between the seats. A place she lived her life. Between the seats. The Jedi would save or sacrifice her children for their goals. The force would tell them and that would be all the justification they ever needed. It had always been like that. But Luke and Leia would not be another Anakin and Obi Wan. Because times had changed. Blind trust was nothing she associated with Jedi Knights anymore. After all Dooku had once been a Jedi. So had many of his Sith Knights.

    ?I want information on who the Empire has on Tatooine and who we got nearby.? She looked at the Rangers. The soldiers were hopefully better in stealth in the field. They obviously stared at her from afar. Well, she was still the Chancellor. She was an appointed chancellor for over a decade now, who had never been elected and who was never questioned, simply because it was a symbol. And you don´t question symbols do you? You use them for your own ends. True power had always been on Coruscant and there was Dooku sitting like a spider in a web.

    Slowly she had begun to rebuild what powerbase she could summon though. And whatever the Jedi had in their mind now, she was not going to give up her children. And surely, certainly, absolutely never again she would trust the force to save them. Yes, she had allowed them to be trained as Jedi. But that was as far as far as she was ready to go. She had not allowed them to be separated from her or their bond to be severed. She was the wife of Anakin Skywalker and the mother of Luke and Leia. If the Jedi Council had a problem with it, they had a problem with the Republic.
    A sigh escaped her, as she entered the turbo-lift. She saw a young man staring at her from afar. Was this the guy she always saw hanging around Leia? Trying to look not too suspicious? Amidala sighed again. She hoped this was a very amateurish spy of the Empire, because a Ranger in the family was certainly the last thing she needed right now. Enough people to worry about. The idea of her Leia and a drinking, card playing ranger send a smile upon her lips. Ridiculous.

    ?I will meet the Council. Meanwhile . . .?

    And there it was. An idea. She did not often find inspiration in crisis. But this might work after all. ? . . . I need you to deliver a message. Discreet. No Jedi involved, do you hear me?? She looked at the young man. ?Believe me, if I learned anything on Geonosis, it is a Jedi never asks for help doesn´t mean he does not need any.?

    The Jedi would certainly try to rescue them or trust the force in this. But the Jedi were servants of the Republic. And she was the head of the Republic. Who could actually forbid her to send her own team to retrieve these plans? And the carriers? Luke and Leia Skywalker.

    She remembered the staring young man down there.

    You spend too much time with the late Chancellor. But if Palpatine knew about anything, it was about plans within plans. She recorded a message in a hurry and gave it to Salvo. Then she turned her attention to the coming meeting with the Jedi Council.

    She needed time.

    That was all she needed.

    Time to save her kids.

    Tag: BobaMatt, HS, all on Dantooine
  17. TheSithGirly Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3

    Luke Skywalker
    Escape Pod over Tatooine


    He watched the corvette and the Invisible Hand above and felt the men and women aboard dying. He should have been there. They should have been there. They might have won, they might have made it. But they ran for another fo their important missions. He gave Leia a sad look and turned to the console next to him. Adjusting their landing vector He looked out of the window. And then he saw it.

    "That´s not good." he cursed and looked to his sister. "Buzzers."

    Turning to the next window and then the third he saw a swarm of them attacking all escape pods. "They try to disable the pod!"

    Somewhere in his mind he heard his Masters voice. Save himself and Leia? "Very useful Master." He spitted it out. "The Jedi know we´re in trouble." He then commented to Leia. She knew about his Masters frequent contacts with him. She wouldn´t be surprised Luke knew this. they had bigger problems anyway.

    2Okay, once we´re in the atmosphere, we´re safe. no waya something that small can enter atmosphere and not melt. But we still need . . ." He checked the console again. " . . . too long. I guess we need to fight." Sighing he looked at Leia and went through it. Weakness of your enemy. There is always a weakness of every enemy. Buzz droids were small, fast, effective. They were not the most solid droids ever build. "Don´t try to push them away. Try to drag them to us. Try to accelerate them as much as you can. If we redirect them, they will just adjust course. But if we smash them into the pod, we might simply crush them!"

    Luke hissed, leaped before the window and reached out with his hand. Giving himself to the force he searched for the droid and it´s connection ot the force, to him, to the pod. And then he breathed out and tried to rip the metal ball against the hull of the pod as hard as he could.

    Tag: Xany, BobaMatt
  18. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4

    Xizor

    Rainforest, Falleen

    The facility was codenamed "Penumbra" in Black Sun communiques, after the partial shadow that lies between complete darkness and complete illumination. Even this codeword was known only by a select handful of Vigos and sub-lieutenants. More than one life had been taken to protect the secret.

    Zooming over the rainforest was a sleek shuttle, almost invisible in the darkness. Its loading ramp was open as it flew, and the Duke of Falleen was leaning halfway out of it, kneeling down with his hand outstretched so that his fingers traced the air above the treetops.

    The shuttle circled sharply above a small clearing, descending slightly without landing. Xizor leapt off the loading ramp, touching his toes on the dirt and immediately executing a graceful forward roll that brought him up onto his feet. The shuttle roared away into the night.

    The facility was situated a few hundred feet away, just visible through the trees, but there was no path marked upon the mud, no obvious opening through the undergrowth.

    All according to Xizor's specifications.

    Two minutes and thirty point four seconds later (half a second off his personal best, he considered with a frown) he had made his way past the natural obstacles and arrived at the durasteel gates which marked the entrance to The Penumbra. The guards posted there offered only a slight nod of acknowledgement as he passed. They could not risk taking their eyes off the jungle around them, even for a second. This particular part of the rainforest was notorious for sheltering some of the most vicious beasts on the planet.

    Another of Xizor's specifications, of course. A predator must be trained among his own kind.

    The Dark Duke swept into the facility's vast entrance hall, currently empty, and stood directly in the centre. He folded his arms behind his back and stared up at the rafters.

    "I know you're here, boy," he called. "Show yourself. I have a task for you."

    Tag: Sir_Draco
  19. Sarge221 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2006
    star 5
    Salvo
    Dantooine, Hangar

    "I want you to gather every bit of information we got on the operation. The Jedi cannot be trusted in this, Salvo."


    "Ma'am," he replied in affirmative, his head lowering a centimeter to show that he understood.

    Very few people called him by his real name anymore and that included Chancellor Amidala. But then again Salvo found himself being able to link himself most to her and not because his mother - Mina Bonteri - had once mentored the now current Chancellor. Instead, like him, Amidala had been tempered by the harsh realities of the Clone Wars moreso then even him. She had been a Queen, then a Senator, and now Chancellor; all because the war forced her to be so. The same could be said for her children who were part of the latest generation of Jedi Knights. Not that she had particular trust for the Jedi Council as she voiced.

    And Lux Bonteri? Once a son of a Separatist Senator only to turn to the path of war when his mother had been killed by the very same people that she served. The result walked patiently at the Chancellor's side; a man slowly approaching forty with scraggly brown locks and a hard face. His body was set to match with it packed with muscle and clad in the red armor of an ARC Captain. And there was the weapons and gadgets that had somehow managed to fit on him of course. If he had his helmet on - which was currently tucked under one arm - he might as well be one of the clones that still saw service in this rebel group. Especially when he had taken the name Salvo from one such clone who had trained him and finally been killed not by droids but his accelerated aging.

    It wasn't a stupid, cliche reason of "Lux was dead" that had Salvo choosing his name but, rather, he found that the name suited him better for his current line of work. And it was meant to keep his real name a mystery to any spies that may think to look at Lux Bonteri and what connections that he may still have with some members of the current Empire's Senate. Connections that may allow him some insight on the Empire's movements that could be very useful for this upcoming operation with Tatooine.

    "I'll go to my contacts," Salvo assured her. "See if I can gain any intelligence through them."

    But the Chancellor had something else for him: a message. He didn't say anything or ask her to elaborate. As soon as she message was recorded, Salvo slipped the datapad into a compartment at his side. He would get on that soon but first...

    With shoulders set and his back straight, Salvo made a turn towards the source of the cigarra smoke he had detected ever since walking into the hangar. His face remained impassive but, mentally, he chided the group that he saw seated not too far away. He understood that this was no Grand Army of the Republic anymore and that they needed help from anyone they could - from Antarian Rangers to smugglers - but Salvo would at least like to see some better discipline and less...alcohol.

    Especially when you have a mission ahead of you, he thought disapprovingly. He'd probably trust his own average piloting skills over a drunk pilot but if he had heard Amidala correctly about the idea of sending in her own team, then he needed to get the right people on board. And the right ship.

    The trooper marched over to the group and he tried to force himself to ease his stance. It was difficult to not look like a gun-toting soldier looking for a fight - especially since that was exactly what he was - but Salvo tried to at least loosen his shoulders.

    And the fact that I am looking for that one fight....possibly more.

    He kept that to himself. Upon reaching the table, Salvo did a slow scan of the occupants and took note of not only the drifting smoke of cigarra but the necks of whiskey bottles and cards that poked up from the edge of the table. He kept his face straight and instead focused on one man in particular: Tobb Jadak.

    "Jadak," Salvo finally spoke. "Your Stellar Envoy may be needed soon. I hope you'll be in the right shape to pilot it.
  20. Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 5
    IC: Poh
    Hanging on Dantooine

    He had a descent hand, a negative nineteen. No negative twenty-one, but that was what his cards had just shifted to. ?Fold? the other human had cried and laughed at it all, although he suspected the booze aided the man in that. As for him he merely puffed his large tinted cigarra, a hangover could last several days depending on his thirst and in this army it was best not to be caught hung-over three days after the fact. That and he found the lizard with kinrath stew just as satisfying to the tastebuds.

    Taking it out as he snuffled in mirth at Jodak?s joke about Han Solo. It was an odd thing but as the red smoke exited his mouth, he reflected on his only vice he was allowed at this table. Medical had long ago done away with the risks from the things, and even dentistry had found an inventive alternative for it were the staining could be the shading of one?s choosing. For him it was a nice dried blood red that lightly tinted his teeth, and added a tinge to the air better noted in lower dens were sparse fluorescent lights might of tinted the thick smoke similarly.

    "At least I have better chances than the crew on the Tantive IV." He raised his glass. The snuffling at the mirth died in that moment, not another soul at the table dared continue enjoy. With a Wookie chuffing his displeasure lesser men would of back peddled, Jodak didn?t, meaning he was either smart, very brave, or an imbecile. He?d wait before placing a bet on which but he was fairly certain on which side the creds were stacked.

    Still Chewbacca was a diplomat, more so then his life companion, which was why Chewbacca even had to be a diplomat in the first place in this situation. Still he lowered his hand to rest on the pommel of the silvery Power hammer that hung from his belt next to the Ryyk blade and AR-1 rifle opposite. Even though he was traveling light for the ?let loose? situation without armor or his heavy weapon he still figured if something came up he could ?tap? the closest offender on his side of the table and Chewbacca could handle his partner.

    Ship selection was the distraction of the day, although the pungent odor and sharp words from Solo had that tang of emotional overflow. What the man thought he was ever hiding was beyond him.

    "Whatever happened, I'm sure they know."

    He huffed in a half hearted query equivalent to ?Huh?? and then turned himself. Upon seeing the two he folded his cards upon the table and set his cigarra atop of them for safe keeping before turning in his chair and trying to place himself between the coming duo and at least his part of the card game. Hopefully the shifter wouldn?t activate and turn his hand to unworthy of poodoo before this was all over.

    "Well, friend," Han drawled with a hint of a smile as he rose with the others. "Now's your chance to explain to Her Highness how she missed out on the perfect opportunity to hire a scumbag like you to ferry her daughter around. I'm sure she'd get a kick out of that story. Talk is cheap, huh?"

    Reaching up he flicked a button on the circular disk that sat at the front of his throat and spoke lowly to the others, ?<Hush before we get busted further by the Chancellor.>? he chuffed out. The combined vocoder/comlink that sat in a bed of scar tissue and somewhat scruffy looking fur issued out through his mouth, the fact that he had been shot there and had to have his trachea and vocal cords replaced was still a spot of humility in some fashions. Although it did allow him to speak more easily with none-Yuzzem as it could translate into Wookie or Basic readily with the flick of a button.

    The Trooper uh- Salvage, Slavo, Salvo, Solvent or something or other- was the first to stride out ahead and come to their table. Although he seemed only interested in remarking to the owner of the Stellar Envoy, Jadok. Then he asked if anyone was familiar with Tatooine.

    <Binary system, Hutts, and a lot of sand. Never heard of it.?> he commented with only a bit of lip curl partly, as he
  21. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Hoole
    Penumbra; The jungle of Falleen



    ?The boy.? The Weequay stepped out of the shadow right behind the Falleen. It was a show of his power as much as the simple instinct of the old Dark Jedi. Surprise your enemy. Treat your friends as if they are tomorrow?s enemies. There were no friends. The galaxy was full of enemies. Hatred united them and hatred divided them. And in his hatred they would bath as if it was a cleansing fire. He had learned that, a long time ago. The power of the Dark Side. It was not the fleeting moment of anger or the easy to predict fear. It was hatred. Because hatred grew deeper, hatred grew more complex. Like a good wine, hatred matured, transformed, refined. Hatred sustained him.
    Hoole tried to smile, but his leathery face was so unused to it, it probably appeared more to be a grimace than anything else. His hands were hidden in his simple black robes. Only a lightsaber betrayed his true nature. A long hilt was attached to his leg, ready at all times. It was tempting to sneak up upon the Duke like this. How easy it would have been to deliver the first and fatal blow in their inevitable battle of wits and wills. Yet, it would have ruined it all.

    ?The boy.? He repeated the words again, as he stepped out of the plants. He nodded towards the facility itself. The jungle had become his natural surroundings. Adaption had always been his strong point. And it was actually surprising how different this sprawling place was from the cold stony crypt he had spend his years in. Had Dooku saved him or robbed him of Xenly? It was so hard to say. Xizor had not robbed him of anything, yet. He had given him so much and asked nothing in return. Well, Xizor thought he asked something, but truly . . . training the boy was not anything he would have denied him. The boy was power. His power had been raw, unshaped and for those who were able to control it unlimited. And now Xizor had made Hoole shape it into a dark diamond. Perfect and awe-inspiring.

    ?The boy needs to concentrate. So you will have to be patient for a moment.? His voice was as deep and raspy as it had always been. But nowadays the words seemed to roll over his tongue. As if they were trained, memorized. Not as if he really meant them. Not as if he even thought about them. ?A ton of rock is above his head and only his mind keeps it from crushing on him.? Hoole explained and his leathery face showed no sign of amusement or irony. He meant it just the way he said it.

    ?You will see his progress has been impressive. Most impressive, actually.? Hoole stepped next to Duke Xizor and reached out with the force. Galen was like a burning heart of the force to him. He felt him through all the thick vegetation as if he stood right in front of him. But Xizor would not see him. With a gesture the old Weequay invited the Falleen to follow a path to the southern perimeter. ?Most. Impressive.? He repeated and followed his temporary Master . . .


    Tag: Winged, Draco

  22. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Han Solo
    Dantooine

    ?[Hush before we get busted further by the Chancellor.]?

    Busted? Han scoffed and angled his chin to glance up at the hulking beast towering over him. His name was Poh and he was a Yuzzem from the forest moon of Endor. He definitely wasn't the kind of creature you wanted to scuffle with, which made him and Chewbacca the perfect team and the kind of crowd you wanted to associate with. But sometimes...well, sometimes they treated him inferior, almost like a child. Han blamed the behavior on the Life Debt he owed the Wook and he wasn't afraid to admit that it had been the source of much irritation over the past couple of years.

    "Why don't you mind your own business, hmm?" Han growled quietly out of the corner of his mouth. "No one's gonna get 'busted.'"

    The soldier that had been accompanying the Chancellor drew closer and it was at this point that Han noticed that he was alone. The Chancellor was gone, having dispersed into the crowd when he wasn't looking. Damn it! He uttered an Old Corellian expletive under his breath for allowing Poh's criticism to distract him.

    "Jadak," the solider spoke evenly. "Your Stellar Envoy may be needed soon. I hope you'll be in the right shape to pilot it."

    Han turned to look at the old man known as Jadak, his brow rising with surprise. You have got to be kidding. After all that boasting, the soldier was gonna offer the old fool a job? Placing his hands on either side of his gunbelt, Han shook his head and started to turn away.

    "Anyone familiar with Tatooine?"

    He froze. Tatooine. That was a name that sounded all too familiar. He once had dealings on Tatooine back at the beginning of his career...his career as a smuggler, that is. Worst gods-damned place to be in the galaxy and that was even before you stepped off the landing ramp and faced the oppressive heat. It didn't help that his experience involved the likes of a certain crimelord, Jabba the Hutt.

    Jabba had been his boss and he had spent months trafficking illegal substances and other goods back and forth across the galaxy; all under the nose of the local authorities and in some cases, even the Empire itself. He was good, very good. He might even have been considered the best in the Hutt's employ...until the incident.

    Scowling at the memory, Han reached up and ran his index finger across the scar that ran diagonally along his chin. It was the sole reminder of the events that happened that day...the only consequence he had suffered as a result. Well, that and the Wookiee companion he would have to follow around for the rest of his life. It wasn't a bad trade-off, but if word got back to Jabba that he had returned to Tatooine...

    Then again, what was he afraid of? He was doing good for himself. Not many beings in the galaxy would mess with an Antarian Ranger.

    "Yeah, I've been there," Han finally spoke up, stepping forward to address the soldier. "It's not exactly my idea of fun, either. But something tells me you're looking for someone to take the plunge, right?"

    TAG: Sarge, Mitth, Fins, Matt
  23. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Dantooine...

    "Wait, we should," Yoda's voice rumbled. "If more forces we send now, disastrous it may be."

    The conference room was tense, particularly since the Chancellor arrived. Present in the room were Admirals Dodonna and Ackbar, and Dodonna's protege Commander Daala. She'd joined the Remnant forces as a long time admirer of Dodonna's, and there were nasty rumors. Still, one only need see her abilities in battle to see that she deserved her station. A few engineers Yoda did not know were also present, and finally General Riekeen and an Antarian Ranger by the name of Solm. They were still mostly silent - it wasn't their time to speak yet. The Chancellor had swept in, not quite so ornamental as in her days in the senate (and particularly not so much as in her days as Queen) but still stunning. She was composed. Extremely so. The kind of composure leaders wore as a mask when issues hit close to home. Perhaps the others had not been able to read this on her - Master Yoda suspected at least Daala could - but he felt her churning in the Force. Vaguely, he remembered a time when they were closer, and their dealings more friendly. It's not that they were not warm towards each other anymore - merely that, in dealing with Chancellor Amidala, Yoda now felt that she was not as entirely open to him, not entirely as trusting. When he said what he'd just said, he felt her presence cool considerably. He chose not to address it.

    "Perhaps," the Mon Calamari proffered, "we can go through our contacts with the Hutts? Tatooine is...a harsh place, but they have considerable control on the world, after all. Lord Hett does not truly govern, the world."

    Even those not attuned to the Force could no doubt feel the Jedi quicken at the mention of Hett's name. Master Saa spoke up, her tendrils and leaves stirring slightly. "What of our contacts on the surface? We're reacting as if all is lost, but we can't move until we've heard from our agents. If the plans are in Imperial Hands, or something has happened to the padawans," Saa hesitated, "then we need not move at all. But we also needn't be rash if the plans and the padawans make it to the safe house.

    "If I may, Chancellor," the Neti lowered her voice. "Master Windu and I are not parents, but we...we love them. We'll get them back. But you know as well as we do that we need to be prudent. They're alive. They're not in pain. And that may be the best we can do right now."

    * * * *

    Chewie narrowed his eyes when Han got involved. True enough that the young man owed him a life debt, but frankly he didn't want to see him hurt, either. That's why he'd saved his life to begin with.

    What's more, he hated to see Jadak take abuse. The old man had been helping the Antarian Rangers since before the end of the Clone Wars, and he and his junky YT-1300 had seen more action in service of the Republic than some of the clones currently fighting in the army. <<Looks like your ship might get some action on this mission after all, huh?>>

    TAG: spycoder9, DarkLordoftheFins, HSolo, Sarge, Mitth


  24. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4

    Xizor

    Penumbra, Falleen Rainforests

    "The boy."

    The voice came from the shadows behind Xizor, and the Prince had to force himself not to turn around instinctively. It was important not to show surprise, or even irritation. Certainly not shock. The best way to communicate with Force-sensitives, in Xizor's experience, was to remain entirely impassive. The moment they knew their tricks could unsettle you, they had the upper hand and they would never relinquish it.

    ?The boy," repeated Hoole, stepping out into the moonlight. ?The boy needs to concentrate. So you will have to be patient for a moment. A ton of rock is above his head and only his mind keeps it from crushing on him.?

    Xizor did not react. He had neither the reason nor the desire to question the dark Jedi's training methods. He cared only for the result.

    ?You will see his progress has been impressive," continued Hoole, deep and rasping as ever. "Most impressive, actually.?

    Xizor gave the slightest nod in acknowledgement, mustering all his self-control not to display his disgust for the degenerate darksider.

    What a pair they made: the Falleen and the Weequay. It sounded like the title of a children's story. A fable perhaps, about two species who simply could not get along with one another. Beauty paired with beast. Both species communicated using pheremones- perhaps they even shared some distant biological ancestor- but the Falleen were seductive while the Weequay were repulsive. Circumstances force them to work together, until at last...what? They learn to accept one another?

    No. Until at last, one of them kills the other. The moral of the story: strike first.

    Xizor had been waiting for Hoole's first strike almost from the moment he met him. For the time being, however, they worked toward a common goal.

    "A pupil's progress owes much to the tutor," he said neutrally as they walked toward the southern perimeter. "I have a mission for him to undertake. A trial. Tell me, Hoole: how powerful is a Skywalker?"

    Tag: LordT, Draco
  25. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Chancellor Amidala
    Conference Room, Dantooine

    All thoughts of the rescue that was organized as they spoke were banned from her mind. She knew about the Jedi´s abilities. She had once loved one of them. and therefore she allowed her feelings to show, but not her thoughts. Focused, concentrated and cool she listened to the Jedi Masters. Ackbar was here and so was Daala. She did not trust the young Daala. Military skill did not make up for foresight and reason. And she felt like a woman who would make the wrong decision in the wrong moment. But the chain of command was not hers to decide. Maybe it was, actually. But Padme had always understood her limits. And military matters were not her strong point, she was certain of that.

    Leia´s Master addressed her, too. They talked about love and concern. The eternal paradox of the Jedi. Were emotions not dangerous? Had they not preached that to Anakin again and again and again? And yet they admitted their love and did not see how they failed themselves. They were guided by emotions. They had taken their ability to make a free choice from themselves. They loved, therefore they feared. And they did not allow letting fear guide their actions. Therefore they did the opposite of what their emotions urged them to. And therefore they never made a choice at all. The fear of fear dictated their decisions and no reason or strategy or argument was involved.

    They were good Jedi. They were good teachers and allies. But they should not think for a second they made good parents.

    "Thank you for your kind words." Amidala smiled a sad and bitter smile that she had so often shown since the Clone Wars began. "And I feel confident that if they are healthy they will escape the grasp of the Droid General. You trained them well and my daughter is smart enough to keep her brother out of any heroic stunts. Concerning a rescue . . ."

    Padme gave all the assembled a long look and then addressed the Jedi directly. "I will have to rely on the wisdom of the Jedi Council. I am certain you will choose the wisest path. As a mother I might not agree, but as the Chancellor of the Republic I have absolute confidence in your ability to resolve this crisis." She gave the impression she had hoped for more but had to accept what she got. It was the case in a way. She just expected it to go that way, when a council meeting had been summoned, instead of a group of Jedi departing to save her children and the plans.

    Well, she had never been one to listen to others too good, when they failed to do the right thing. Palpatine had learned that quite often. Now she needed to keep them busy. Long enough for Salvo to organize the mission. "But one question of utmost importance has not yet been revealed. How did the General find them?"

    Tag: Spy, BobaMatt
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